Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA)

Speeches 13 March 2023

Thank you to our National Defense Senior Undersecretary Charlie Galvez; the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Director-General Ric de Leon; National Grid Corporation of the Philippines President and CEO Anthony Almeda; fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen

What we have witnessed today is a very important event in the continuing effort of our country to protect itself against any attacks in cyberspace.

The NGCP is in charge of a very critical aspect of our daily lives. And with the understanding that when it comes to war strategy, we do – we conduct our wars in the same manner that we conduct our business.

For example, in the early 20th century in the First World War, industry was labor intensive. Hence, trench warfare. And in the Second World War, we had industrialized our businesses, and hence, it was machinery and the production of aeroplanes and tanks that won the war. And now, we do our business through cyberspace.

And that is why we are continuing to shore up our defenses when it comes to cybersecurity. And since NGCP is a critical part of our security, of our ability to continue to function as a society, then this is an important day because now we have made more robust the defenses against any possible attacks on our power systems, on any other of the elements in our everyday lives that require power; and for that matter, that require the exchange of secure information amongst ourselves in society.

So I thank the NGCP for taking the initiative here for allowing – there have been fears that the involvement of any foreign entity in our power transmission system would present a security threat to the Philippines.

Well, this is a very good step towards answering that challenge. It is but one step because we are continuing to do this not only with NGCP. But we are developing our cyber systems so that we are secure and so that the data that we need to collect and to disseminate is available to us, and we are able to do and handle that data in a secure fashion without the risk of it being used somehow against the Philippines.

And so I thank of course Anthony – Anthony is known to me because we were classmates together. We were studying economics actually, Asia Pacific. But pareho kaming hindi nagtapos. But I know him well and I’m happy that he has taken the lead in this.

And of course NICA, which is essentially our lead and premier intelligence agency is – are now have this Memorandum of Understanding which will make much clearer the requirements of our intelligence services to ensure that we are safe and that we are secure.

So let this be an example to all the other sectors that could be assessed to be at risk when it comes to cybersecurity. There are those such as today that we will do formally and there are those that we will do quietly. But nonetheless, it is something we must continue to develop. And it is a good development, it is a good example for the rest of our infrastructure, and I talk about hard and soft infrastructure.

It is a good signal to all of us who have concerns in this regard that we are doing many things to make sure that the Philippines remains secure, that the Philippines remains in accordance with international law, that the Philippines and its people can rest assured that their territory, their data, their personal information will not be used against us and that they can feel secure.

Congratulations to NGCP, congratulations to NICA for a very important step that we have witnessed today. Thank you and good morning. [applause]

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SOURCE: PCO-PND (Presidential News Desk)